2023 Draft Fits

SMU_Sox

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I started out my prospect watch list by looking at two guys, Broderick Jones LT out of UGA 6'4" 310, and Darnell Wright out of Tennessee 6'6" 340 and long. It didn't take me to fall in love with Darnell Wright. I know Bill doesn't always like to take RTs in round 1 but Wright is somewhere in the 1-2 range and in 2021 he started as Tennessee's LT. He reminds me a lot of Trent Brown. His recovery for a man of his size is very good. I saw him shut down Will Anderson 1:1 for most of the game without so much as a hurry. Advanced use of hands, punches, counters. He also went toe to toe with BJ Ojulari at LSU. He put it all together his senior year in pass pro. As a run blocker he has tremendous power but he is tall and doesn't always maintain the proper leverage needed. He also can have wide hands. He is athletic for his size but probably won't test that well, I don't think. I think he would be the RT of the Patriots future and he and Onwenu would be a terrific gap/power inside zone/duo pairing. He reminds me of Trent Brown where he has a high level of functional athleticism but might run a slowish 40. He gets plenty of depth with his pass sets though. He has no problem exploding vertically. Let's see what he tests out as. I am probably going to be higher on him than most. I have him in the late 1 to round 2 range. I think he is a top 64 caliber prospect. I don't have a solid number but he is in the 7.5-7.99 range. Somewhere there. His testing and more tape will help determine the final grade. I am leaning towards a 7.99 though.

Personally I think his natural position is RT and that's where I would leave him but even though he is tall I think he could handle being a guard. I am not sure if I want him playing LT and I do think it makes a difference even if it is slight. He's tough, smart, and athletic enough. He's just the kind of OL that Scar would like.

Check out some of his highlights here

To me he isn't going to be a pro bowler but I think he could be an above average to potentially quality starter at RT. Reminds me a little of like Cannon in his prime and Trent Brown too. Has overlap with both of them.
 
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RedOctober3829

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Looking at wide receiver, they don't have to look far for help. Zay Flowers of BC would be a really nice fit for the Patriots. Phil Perry had Dane Brugler on his Next Pats podcast and he had this to say.

"They have to look in their backyard, not too far away from Foxboro," Brugler said. "Zay Flowers over at Boston College. This is a guy who can play inside, play outside. They do a lot of those tight splits, so he can really attack space. That's where the playmaking potential is really clear with him. He's an electric route runner, especially at the top of routes. He's got that pull-away acceleration. It really ties defenders in knots. He releases quickly, attacks leverage. You see the route running has sharpened every single year. You think of Diontae Johnson, what he's doing in Pittsburgh. That play speed. The ability to really threaten the defense horizontally, vertically. You can just do a lot of things with Zay Flowers, so I think he could be in the mix there on Day 2."

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfIL-fhAJBs


Brugler also mentions Charlie Jones from Purdue.



View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eBqFwX38aQ
 
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Cotillion

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Not that it is the case here with this guy, but NIL money is probably going to be an interesting variable as to who comes out and doesn't for some of the Round 3 guys. Guys will have to decide if they want to start their clock counting down to their first free agency or stay an extra year and maybe jump up rounds for more money (but also potentially a longer path to free agency if they get to 1st round and the 5th year option).
 

SMU_Sox

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A lot of day 3 types at QB get paid more to stay in college. It's something Brugler covered on the athletic draft podcast. The Journey to the Draft guys brought it up too. So you're seeing some guys stay and get paid and are going to develop another year.
 

BigSoxFan

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Looking at wide receiver, they don't have to look far for help. Zay Flowers of BC would be a really nice fit for the Patriots. Phil Perry had Dane Brugler on his Next Pats podcast and he had this to say.

"They have to look in their backyard, not too far away from Foxboro," Brugler said. "Zay Flowers over at Boston College. This is a guy who can play inside, play outside. They do a lot of those tight splits, so he can really attack space. That's where the playmaking potential is really clear with him. He's an electric route runner, especially at the top of routes. He's got that pull-away acceleration. It really ties defenders in knots. He releases quickly, attacks leverage. You see the route running has sharpened every single year. You think of Diontae Johnson, what he's doing in Pittsburgh. That play speed. The ability to really threaten the defense horizontally, vertically. You can just do a lot of things with Zay Flowers, so I think he could be in the mix there on Day 2."

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfIL-fhAJBs


Brugler also mentions Charlie Jones from Purdue.



View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eBqFwX38aQ
Zay has always reminded me a bit of Brandin Cooks. That's clearly the upper range of his potential outcomes but he has that skill set. Not sure his straight line speed will test as well so I'll be interested to see where he comes in at during the combine.
 

j44thor

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At least one mock has Pats selecting WR Jaxon Smith Njigba from OSU at 16. That would be a home run swing that I'd be ecstatic about. Obviously no tape this year but JSN dominated as a sophomore in a WR room that included Garret Wilson and Chris Olave, just getting either of them on NE would be a huge win, if you can get someone who was statistically much better sign me up. Take OL with the next 5 picks and call it a day. This team sorely lacks an Alpha WR which JSN has the potential to become and then some.
 

SMU_Sox

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View: https://twitter.com/JohnALimberakis/status/1602925291743191040?s=20&t=cVe3A0x4e6nY9Of9KvFXuQ


This is my thread of clips on Cody Mauch. He's most likely an OG at the next level for them and redundant with Strange but if they want to move Strange to OC long term or they want a backup OG/OT (let's see what he measures in at) he could be their guy. Total ass-kicker. Plays with his hair on fire every play. Real mauler but needs to add sand to his pants and lower body and core strength. Super athletic and nasty mother-trucker.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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I started out my prospect watch list by looking at two guys, Broderick Jones LT out of UGA 6'4" 310
What are your thoughts on Broderick Jones? I have been playing with the PFF Draft Simulator (I know, not the best resource) a lot recently, and he is a name I often select when I trade back in the 20-26 range.
 

SMU_Sox

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@Jake Peavy's Demons He’s very athletic with average power. Seems like zone teams would want him//he’s an ideal fit on an outside zone team. His biggest issue right now is in pass pro where he has seriously under-developed hands. His floor is questionable because he needs a lot of polish in pass pro. Thought his anchor was fine. Very good to elite recovery. Punch timing needs some work and needs to better vary his punches.
Run blocking is also a work in progress. His three biggest issues there are 1) Footwork in run blocking can be an issue. Can be sloppy. 2) doesn’t consistently hit his hand landing spots. It’s not that he’s wide it’s that he just misses or fails to grab-on. 3) lining up guys in space or when he climbs. Where he shines is he has the athleticism to make/get-to any block and he is strong enough to execute. Flashes finishing.
Ceiling is a quality starter who can play in any scheme. But he needs to develop his hands in both the pass and run game.
 

Mooch

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I'll be curious to read your write-up on Blake Freeland from BYU. He looks like an absolute road-grader in the running game but might be limited as a blind-side protector against speed-rushers. Can he be coached up?
 

SMU_Sox

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Have you looked at Myers yet? He screamed Pats first round pick to me.
Michael Mayer the ND TE? Yes. I have a 7.99 on him for now - want to see his testing. He's an exceptional route runner and has plus breaks. Projects to be somewhere around average to above average as a blocker. He has a lot of good to great traits but I don't think he is elite at anything. Great with body control and catching too. His RAC though is just average to above average. I like him a lot. He's going to end up as my TE1.
 

SMU_Sox

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There are a bunch of day 2 developmental OTs you could take this year like Anton Harrison, Dawand Jones, Cody Mauch (might be an OG), Tyler Steen, and Blake Freeland but that makes me a little nervous because a lot of our guys techniques have not done as well this year. And no Scar obviously. So you either go with a more polished guy like Darnell Wright or maybe Dawand Jones or you bet on a guy going to the right off-season programs...

Also Paris Johnson and Broderick Jones are guys who both need a lot of technique work. This is more of a raw class than I have seen in some time at OT.
 

SMU_Sox

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If anyone wants to watch some tape with me sometime just shoot me a PM... I have access to a bunch of all-22 and/or cutups. I love watching with friends. It is always fun to relax and watch a potential future Patriot :)
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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Kind of wild that the Pats could be picking as high as like 8th or 9th (very unlikely) and as low as like 22nd depending on how the last week of the season goes.
 

thehitcat

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Question for our gurus. What Left Tackles could be still available at pick #14 and be worthy of taking at that pick? I'm wondering essentially who are the guys I should start watching out for as things like the Senior Bowl and the combine come up. Thanks to you all for the great work here in the sub-forum over the years.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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Question for our gurus. What Left Tackles could be still available at pick #14 and be worthy of taking at that pick? I'm wondering essentially who are the guys I should start watching out for as things like the Senior Bowl and the combine come up. Thanks to you all for the great work here in the sub-forum over the years.
I won't comment on the "worthy" aspect of the question, as I'm no OL guru, but from mock drafts and prospect rankings:
Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
Paris Johnson, Ohio State
Broderick Jones, Georgia
Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
Darnell Wright, Tennessee

Skoronski is probably gone by 14, possibly Johnson, as well. If they're lucky, he's still on the board. Jones is a step down from them but is a realistic a target (mid 1st) while Harrison, Bergeron and Wright are late 1st-2nd round guys in possible trade back scenarios.

There are a few more 2nd round guys like Blake Freeland (BYU), Jaeylen Duncan (Maryland), Dawand Jones (OSU), as well.
 

SMU_Sox

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Skoronski has like 32.25 inch arms. Length issues pop up all over his tape. He’s imo an OG. I am 100% out on him as an OT. The tape don’t lie.
 

thehitcat

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I won't comment on the "worthy" aspect of the question, as I'm no OL guru, but from mock drafts and prospect rankings:
Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
Paris Johnson, Ohio State
Broderick Jones, Georgia
Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
Darnell Wright, Tennessee

Skoronski is probably gone by 14, possibly Johnson, as well. If they're lucky, he's still on the board. Jones is a step down from them but is a realistic a target (mid 1st) while Harrison, Bergeron and Wright are late 1st-2nd round guys in possible trade back scenarios.

There are a few more 2nd round guys like Blake Freeland (BYU), Jaeylen Duncan (Maryland), Dawand Jones (OSU), as well.
Skoronski has like 32.25 inch arms. Length issues pop up all over his tape. He’s imo an OG. I am 100% out on him as an OT. The tape don’t lie.
Thanks to you both. "worthy of the 14th pick is what I was going for and you gave it to me. Now I have some names to follow.
 

IdiotKicker

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I would be very interested in hearing about any of the tall CBs that I see floating around picks 10-20 in most very early mock drafts. I know everyone wants to look at offense, but if they could land someone who could grow into a #1 corner by his 2nd or 3rd year in the league, that fills a huge need cheaply and then allows them to spend dollars/trade picks for players to fix the OL, and I think if they re-sign Meyers, they actually have enough depth at WR if they properly use Bourne next year and Thornton develops a bit.
 

Shelterdog

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I would be very interested in hearing about any of the tall CBs that I see floating around picks 10-20 in most very early mock drafts. I know everyone wants to look at offense, but if they could land someone who could grow into a #1 corner by his 2nd or 3rd year in the league, that fills a huge need cheaply and then allows them to spend dollars/trade picks for players to fix the OL, and I think if they re-sign Meyers, they actually have enough depth at WR if they properly use Bourne next year and Thornton develops a bit.
Christian Gonazelz Joey Porter Junior and Cam Smith all sound like that player. Without having scouted the players something like Gonzalez at 14 and a LT like Blakeland Freeland (Very tall fairtly athletic kind of weak) or Cody Mauch (small school great athlete)in the second sounds like a BB draft to me
 

Cellar-Door

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Christian Gonazelz Joey Porter Junior and Cam Smith all sound like that player. Without having scouted the players something like Gonzalez at 14 and a LT like Blakeland Freeland (Very tall fairtly athletic kind of weak) or Cody Mauch (small school great athlete)in the second sounds like a BB draft to me
Mike Renner at PFF did his mock today, has us taking Devon Witherspoon at 14, which would be considered a big reach, as I think many have as a 2nd rounder. Witherspoon is 6' 180 so not that big. On the other hand, Renner stresses that he DOMINATED in press man coverage in college (1 yard allowed in 113 snaps), others I've seen talk about his excellent work in run support.

Edit- watching Witherspoon highlights now... this dude is 100% going of the binky list. He hits a like a truck in run support. Wonder if he'll have trouble in the NFL based on the fact he just physically bodies guys both at the line and in coverage, might draw a lot of flags, but man, guy just goes at guys.
 
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EL Jeffe

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Witherspoon has been coached by Friend of the Program Bret Bielema for past couple of years, which makes him an intriguing fit for NE. I personally don't see Witherspoon as much of a reach at 14. He's really athletic and he's a physical tackler. There's an awful lot to like.
 

Shelterdog

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Witherspoon has been coached by Friend of the Program Bret Bielema for past couple of years, which makes him an intriguing fit for NE. I personally don't see Witherspoon as much of a reach at 14. He's really athletic and he's a physical tackler. There's an awful lot to like.
I listed some of the bigger corners but I think corner size and speed is generally not a top priority here relative to quickness/balance/ball skills/coverage skills/fluidity. I'd be fine with Witherspoon in the abstract.

I'm personally a Jordan Addison guy; he reminds me of a slightly bigger deion branch (fast but more importantly quick and a great route runner). I also think Mac is much better with 3 WR sets so that's going to be a real position of need even if you're comfortable with Parker/Thornton/Bourne.
 

SMU_Sox

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tims4wins

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Is your question if he is good? Is he a fit? Are you surprised he declared? I think he is good, I think he is a fit, I don't think he shouldn't have declared if that makes sense. He should go sometime in the top 75 picks even if centers are devalued. It's a weak OC class so he could be the first one picked.
Yeah was asking if he is good and a good fit. I'd have no problem with the Pats using a 3rd rounder on a C if the opportunity arises.
 

Bowser

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Want to throw ten names in the hat...

Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State. A former LB ... who plays TE like an LB, but he's pretty athletic and seems to have soft hands.

Many of the OT prospects are too light for my taste, but I'm a big fan of Matthew Bergeron (LT, Syracuse, captain) and Darnell Wright (RT, Tennessee). Both are around 6'5"/330.

DT/DE Gervon Dexter (Florida, 6'6"/310) and DT Siaka Ika (Baylor, 6'4"/350) would add some youth and athleticism to our front. Seem like second rounders ... for now.

Rashee Rice, WR, SMU (6'2"/205) looks like a slightly smaller but more athletic Davante Parker. And he's a captain, too.

Could imagine a DB in Round 1. Would second @Shelterdog's interest in Christian Gonzalez but see Kelee Ringo and Brian Branch as possible fits, too.

Not sure if Pierre Strong is cut out for 3rd down duty, but it's hard not to imagine what Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama could do for our passing game.
 

j44thor

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This draft is absolutely loaded at RB, quite possibly will be the single deepest and highest impact RB class in recent history if even 1/2 the picks hit.
Bijan Robinson is considered by many the best RB prospect since Saquon Barkley and the highest rated RB prospect by most advanced metrics of all time granted they only go back about 10yrs.
After him you have the likes of Sean Tucker, Zach Charbonet, Gibbs, Tank Bigsby, Zach Evans & Keandre Miller all rated higher than every RB drafted besides possibly Hall and KWIII last year. As much as I didn't love the Strong pick in the 4th last year I think NE should consider a day 2/3 RB this year as the value should be there.
 

Cellar-Door

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Who is the next Kevin Faulk/James White from this draft? That's a crutch the offense has sorely missed.
Jahmyr Gibbs maybe?, but I doubt Bill takes him as early as he'd need to (probably going in the 2nd?).
That feels like a position you fill in FA, they tried this year with Montgomery but he got hurt. Not a ton of guys come out of college able to run routes from RB AND pass protect.
 

EL Jeffe

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I think Pierre Strong was drafted with the "passing back" role in mind, fwiw. It's a spot NE has typically redshirted, so the fact that Strong didn't play much on offense this past year shouldn't be a big surprise. A 4.37 40 and 36" vertical at 207# is an intriguing combo and he flashed explosiveness with limited opportunities this year. I personally think he's got a real chance of being a weapon moving forward, but that obviously carries a good bit of projection.
 
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j44thor

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Sadly WRs that play in the East-West game have a very, very low % of doing anything in the NFL. I think Robbie Anderson is the most successful WR to play in that game in the last 10yrs. Plenty of success at other positions just not WR for whatever reason.
 

SMU_Sox

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@j44thor Zay is someone I’ve brought up in our slack where I think draft media types might be higher on him vs the NFL.
 

Cellar-Door

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Mike Renner at PFF did his mock today, has us taking Devon Witherspoon at 14, which would be considered a big reach, as I think many have as a 2nd rounder. Witherspoon is 6' 180 so not that big. On the other hand, Renner stresses that he DOMINATED in press man coverage in college (1 yard allowed in 113 snaps), others I've seen talk about his excellent work in run support.

Edit- watching Witherspoon highlights now... this dude is 100% going of the binky list. He hits a like a truck in run support. Wonder if he'll have trouble in the NFL based on the fact he just physically bodies guys both at the line and in coverage, might draw a lot of flags, but man, guy just goes at guys.
Looks like Renner was just ahead of the curve, seen a LOT of NFL analysts coming out of their film reviews saying he's potentially CB1 in this draft. Now wondering if he even makes it to 14.

Edit- Daniel Jeremiah has Witherspoon going 6th in his mock (has Patriots drafting hybrid DB Brian Branch at 14)
 
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Bowser

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Zay Flowers is a very good player. Love to have him on the team. But in the second round? At his size? I don't see the value of spending a #2 pick on a slot WR (apologies to W. Welker). I'd rather throw a fourth rounder at Rakim Jarrett. Or, if we're going WR in round 2, I'm looking at Rashee Rice. Or trading down in round 1 for Jalin Hyatt. Also, I know nothing.
 

Shelterdog

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If we're picking WR in round 1: Addison. Addison. [Said as if i'm chanting Attica...]

I really like him both as a prospect and as a prospect the Pats would like--he kind of reminds me of a slightly bigger/faster Deion Branch. Fast, quick, good route runner, Might slip a little because while not small he's not built like a classi x nor a n'keal harry but I don't think that's a huge institutional priority for the Pats especially if you have Parker and possibly Myers.
 

KingChre

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If we're picking WR in round 1: Addison. Addison. [Said as if i'm chanting Attica...]

I really like him both as a prospect and as a prospect the Pats would like--he kind of reminds me of a slightly bigger/faster Deion Branch. Fast, quick, good route runner, Might slip a little because while not small he's not built like a classi x nor a n'keal harry but I don't think that's a huge institutional priority for the Pats especially if you have Parker and possibly Myers.
I'm all in on Addison. I see a young Stefon Diggs personally. Unfortunately that means they will 100% not draft him.
 

j44thor

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I'm a JSN guy but won't hate Addison, if JSN just repeated his sophmore season as a Jr he is almost certainly a top 5 pick. The fact he didn't play his Jr. season is certainly a red flag but Ja'Maar Chase sat his last season and worked out OK. I'm not comparing the two as they are quite different players but JSN's production was off the charts and a big reason Jameson Williams left OSU for AL and ended up a 1st rd pick. As a 19YO he out-produced Olave and Wilson and the game those two sat he went for 347 yards.

Addison went from Kenny Pickett to the 2024 #1 pick in the draft and Heisman winner Caleb Williams and saw his stats literally cut in half. He is also just a bit smaller than I like to see from a #1 WR.
 

SMU_Sox

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I'm all in on Addison. I see a young Stefon Diggs personally. Unfortunately that means they will 100% not draft him.
Don’t really like that comp. He’a twenty pounds thinner, he is shiftier, but not as fast and unlike Diggs his natural position will be slot. He’s also not as fast.

And respectfully JSN is not a top 5 let alone 10 or maybe even 15 pick. He’s a slower slot only guy that many had as a late first to second round guy. Even if he had a repeat of 2021. Not happening.

Speed isn’t everything with receivers but JSN runs a 4.6ish 40 and while I like him that’s just not going to get you drafted that high.
 

SMU_Sox

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Tbh guys this is not a great WR draft. It’s average at best. There are some nice pieces but there aren’t any Waddles or Chases or even Olave’s, Londons, or Wilsons.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't see a WR I would want in the 1st. Especially given how good the CB class looks. I'd be looking CB/T (not a great class it seems but decent and T is a premium spot), feel like the 2nd round WRs could be just as good as the 1st, kinda get 2019 vibes from this class.
 

KingChre

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Don’t really like that comp. He’a twenty pounds thinner, he is shiftier, but not as fast and unlike Diggs his natural position will be slot. He’s also not as fast.

And respectfully JSN is not a top 5 let alone 10 or maybe even 15 pick. He’s a slower slot only guy that many had as a late first to second round guy. Even if he had a repeat of 2021. Not happening.

Speed isn’t everything with receivers but JSN runs a 4.6ish 40 and while I like him that’s just not going to get you drafted that high.
I'll certainly defer to your track record on these matters but we'll have to agree to disagree on Addison. I love his footwork and that's where I see Diggs. Do you have a comp that you like for him?

Also where are you getting speed numbers on Addison vs Diggs? Eye test or are there numbers on Addison that I didn't see? Just curious.

Totally agree on the average-ish level of WR depth in this draft, I just happen to consider Addison at or near the top.